Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bethany L. Turner-Livermore

Second Advisor

Frank L. Williams

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Glover


This study utilizes dental histological methods to analyze enamel micro-defects (Wilson bands) as indicators of early life stress in indigenous Muchik individuals interred at two sites: La Capilla Santa María Magdalena De Eten (CSMME) (n=15) and La Capilla Del Niño Serranito (CNS) (n=15), both located in the Lambayeque region of northern Peru. Individuals interred at CNS date to the Early Colonial Period (A.D. 1533-1620) and individuals interred at CSMME date to the Middle/Late Colonial Period (A.D. 1620-1760). Results reveal a fairly high prevalence of Wilson bands at both sites, with a lower prevalence at CSMME. This indicates that, over time, Muchik individuals may have been able to acclimate to life under Spanish oppression. Stress chronologies suggest that early life stress possibly resulted from inadequate and less than desirable food and/or water available for supplemental feeding during early infancy, especially around the ages of 4 and 5 months.